Protecting your Business- Part 1.
I wonder what your initial thought was when you read the Heading? So many issues may occur with any business, that there is a variety of methods required to protect your business.
Whilst, in this Blog, I am mainly thinking about commercial premises, where someone leases or owns a building which they are using for commercial purposes, e.g, running a business from, however a lot of it can be considered, and tailored into a slightly different format, and be considered for a residential aspect.
When I consider, what do we need to do to protect my Business or the Business I was working for at the time, there were 3 main items which were considered,
- Security – the business and the premises is an Asset to the business
- Insurance- does my policy cover everything I need covered
- IT- How can I protect my computer, and therefore Data, which is stored in my computer, as it is essential to my Business.
Whatever, I was thinking of with the protection of the Business, A Business needs to do a Risk Assessment of the Business. Considering what can go wrong with the business, then how can I protect it, and in this, I am not really referring to the minimal or no cash flow, which a business can suffer from time to time.
I will now break the above 3 down a little, although like with anything, expert/professional advice should be found to discuss your individual needs.
As we approach Christmas, and the New Year Period, breaks in on Businesses have the potential to increase, although crime can happen at any time during the year.
The Risk Assessment part of your security protection is reasonably easy, as you need to identify where someone can enter your premises at any time. Whether locked up or not, the majority of the access points are Glass- windows, doors etc. When checking your entry point’s doors check and see whether you can unlock the door using a Credit Card. E.g double glass doors on the entry point, can have a weakness to credit cards being able to open the door- they can release the catch. A bonus for your business is the minimal damage, which is caused to the door when someone does break in. As often when the premises are broken into, it is the damage caused rather than what is taken.
Think about where you place Valuable items in the Business e.g. computers, can someone just smash a window and grab the item without really entering the premises, as often this will not set Alarms off, depending on where the sensors are placed.
Outside the Building, ensure there are not lose items which can be thrown through the windows/ glass doors- lose pavers, rocks etc. Ensure people from roadways can see your premises, entry points, and they are not blocked with bushes etc.
One of the main ways a Business will try to protect themselves, is install an Alarm system- however, it has often been mentioned in the Law Enforcement industry, an Alarm is great as it tells the investigators, or the insurance companies what time something occurred, however if monitored it can alert people to the fact something has happened.
Businesses may install CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) better known as cameras, however these need to be placed in the right position to ensure a good quality picture is taken. Again CCTV is great in the helping to catch the person/ people who broke into your premises, although sometimes fingerprints can do this or other evidence, which is left at the scene.
One of the last aspects in which a Business owner considers is the types of locks on the premises, e.g. can these be improved to make the entry point stronger, what type of padlock should I use etc need to be considered. Are there roller shutters, which can be used, to protect the windows overnight.
Speaking with your Insurance provider can often help you understand what you are covered for and what you are not covered for.
From personal experiences, I have found a broker better value, as they will often ask better questions, to overlook your whole business, rather than the parts you ask about. Finding a broker who knows your industry helps.
Insurance is great to have, as it can help you replace the items which are stolen, and can help protect you against any action which can be taken against you in either providing your service/ product, or with the items stolen. If your Business is out of action for a period, the right insurance may assist you, until your Business is back up and running.
Consider and understand what you use on your computer, and what is stored on there, can help you understand how to better protect your Business.
Cybercrimes, are on the increase in Australia, and will only increase in the future, many business owners believe it won’t happen to them, however it is worth protecting yourself, as you never know when you will be next on their list.
One important aspect, is to ensure you back up your data, so if your computer is hacked, or crashes you have a copy of the information you need to run your Business.
Ensure your Antivirus, Malware, Spyware etc is current; again speak with your IT consultant/ Staff to ensure you have the best protection.
If you enter client details, credit card numbers etc into your system, web site etc, you need to ensure your system is protected the best you can, to ensure you can minimise the chance of something happening to your computer, and therefore your information.
Be careful or at least mindful about the links you are clicking on, the web sites you are checking with your work computer, think about do you really need to go to that web site, as often it can be from the one visit to a website where your information is taken, and you become the target of cyber crime….
Anytime is the best time to consider reviewing and updating your security protection of your Business, as your Business changes a review of your security should be completed.
As mentioned above, a professional should be spoken to about your own circumstances.
Security – A licenced Security Advisor, can help you, they must be licenced in the state they are operating in, as Licences for security officers are still State based.
If you speak to a Security technician, they will often only consider your Alarm system or possibly your CCTV options as well
A locksmith will often only consider improvements to your locks.
Insurance– an Insurance Broker is who I recommend you speak with to discuss your insurance requirements, however any insurance company who offers insurance to your industry, can help you understand your insurance requirements.
Computers/ IT – Speak with a computer technician, or your IT professional who may understand about your computer requirements, and what you need to do to improve your computer security. For example as a Licenced Security Advisor, I would not know what exactly to look for within your computer system to advise you on how to improve your security within your IT system.